The lesser striped swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) is a large swallow. It breeds in sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and southern Sudan south into eastern South Africa. It is partially migratory with South African birds wintering further north. West African birds leave the north of the breeding range in the dry season.

This is a bird of wooded, mainly lowland habitats, and is replaced in montane grassland by the greater striped swallow, Hirundo cucullata. It is common and often found around human habitation. The lesser striped swallow builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a tubular entrance on the underside of a suitable structure. The nest has a soft lining, and may be reused in later years. The nest may be built in a cave or under a rock overhang or a tree branch. This species has benefited from its willingness to use buildings, bridges, culverts and similar structures. Given the choice, it will select a high nest site.

The eggs are glossy white sometimes with a few brown spots; three eggs is a typical clutch. Incubation is by the female alone for 14–16 days to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 17–19 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

The lesser striped swallow is 15–10 cm long. It has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The underwing coverts are tawny. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. There are five or six subspecies differing in the extent of the underpart streaking

The lesser striped swallow has heavier and darker underparts striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger greater striped swallow. The lesser also prefers less open habitats. It feeds mainly on flying insects, but has been known to eat small fruits. The flight is erratic, and the call is a nasal zeh zeh zeh zeh zeh.
Lesser Striped-Swallow
Date Location Count
2021-04-29 06:30Manso Domeabra3
2021-04-24 07:43Busua (Village)
2021-05-08 06:00Garamba NP
2021-05-08 08:18Queen Elizabeth II NP--Mweya4
2021-05-13 10:45Bwindi (Town)5
2021-04-18 16:12Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge2
2021-04-18 07:26Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest NP--Buhoma1
2021-04-20 14:04Queen Elizabeth II NP--Kazinga Channel Boat Trip2
2021-05-15 07:00Queen Elizabeth II NP2
2021-05-08 07:42Kibale NP--Makerere U. Biol. Field Station (Kanyawara) (restricted access)1
2021-05-08 07:35Kibale Forest NP3
2021-05-06 09:13Bigodi Swamp5
2021-04-24 17:40Bigodi Community Walk1
2021-04-25 12:45Ruhondo wetland3
2021-05-01 06:39Murchison Falls NP--Paraa Safari Lodge to Tangi Gate4
2021-04-18 08:35Kamatana Dam6
2021-05-08 08:02UMUSAMBI VILLAGE - Wetlands and Grey Crowned Crane rehabilitation20
2021-05-02 10:50Kabalega Diner4
2021-05-01 12:28Camp Kwando2
2021-05-06 09:07Nkasa Lupala NP2
2021-05-01 14:04Mabamba Swamp2
2021-04-27 07:41Kidepo Valley NP--Narus River8
2021-05-08 06:16Entebbe Botanical Garden3
2021-04-28 15:32Kidepo Valley NP--Karenga Gate to Apoka2
2021-05-08 10:37Lutembe Beach and Wetlands1
2021-05-09 10:19Kafue NP--McBrides Camp2
2021-05-02 08:30Mabira Forest--Local Community Reserve3
2021-05-08 08:39Mabira Forest
2021-05-08 08:51Mabira Forest--Rain Forest Lodge1
2021-05-08 04:58andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge2
2021-05-08 06:55Livingstone Treatment Works2
2021-05-08 09:00Mt Moroto Foothills3
2021-05-08 06:40Victoria Falls Sewerage Ponds
2021-05-07 08:00Moroto to Tapac Track2
2021-05-03 08:45Mount Elgon NP--Research Centre4
2021-05-05 08:00Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve--Mbale-Moroto Rd2
2021-05-08 07:28Yala Swamp and Lake Kanyaboli (general)10
2021-04-17 14:05Ufinya Dam3
2021-05-07 11:53Matangwe Banding Area-12
2021-05-08 06:05Nsobe Camp1
2021-05-03 06:54Ruma River Lodge2
2021-05-08 11:00Hwange NP--Sinamatella2
2021-05-14 15:30Paga beach6
2021-04-17 06:11Kakamega Forest NR--Rondo Retreat Lodge2
2021-05-10 11:36Kisumu Sewage Waste Recycling Centre6
2021-04-17 09:00Kakamega Forest NR--Ikuywa River1
2021-05-08 07:16Grumeti Game Reserve1
2021-05-08 07:28South Nandi Forest IBA10
2021-05-12 17:27Ahero Rice Fields1
2021-05-11 11:24Angama Lodge (Ol Kurruk)3
2021-05-16 07:12Maasai Mara NR--Mara Triangle
2021-05-08 12:07Southwest Mau Forest @ Chebangang15
2021-05-02 06:15Serengeti NP--Seronera4
2021-04-19 06:28Lake Baringo--Inshore Cliffs and surrounds2
2021-05-09 13:00Naboisho Conservancy
2021-05-13 08:05Lake Bogoria NR1
2021-05-13 07:24Wondo Genet10
2021-05-12 06:19Segera Retreat (Restricted access)8
2021-05-08 07:03El Karama Ranch Eco Lodge15
2021-04-25 08:46Ol Pejeta Conservancy1
2021-04-24 09:52Ataye Wetlands3
2021-05-13 16:28Olekemonge Gorge, Magadi Road
2021-04-20 16:39Shewa Robit area8
2021-05-04 16:30KEFRI Lands, Kikuyu2
2021-05-07 10:00Flatdogs Camp
2021-05-08 05:31South Luangwa NP--Mfuwe Lodge
2021-05-13 12:40Upper Magadi Road (from Corner Baridi to Oltepesi/Olorgesaillie)
2021-05-08 11:52Ngong Forest Sanctuary (west section)
2021-05-08 09:10U of N Kabete Campus & Field Station (incl. Loresho Swamp)2
2021-05-08 06:56Ngong Forest Sanctuary
2021-05-08 09:11Langata Giraffe Centre (incl. ravine trail)1
2021-04-23 15:25Runda Marsh4
2021-05-14 06:15Kfeet, Wetlands & Lily Lake, Karura Forest6
2021-05-08 07:39Nairobi River @ National Museums of Kenya (incl. Boulevard Hotel)5
2021-05-08 08:16Nairobi NP--Nagolomon Dam5
2021-05-08 07:57Nairobi NP6
2021-05-08 06:05Lewa Wildlife Conservancy4
2021-05-08 07:05Dandora WTP, Ruai4
2021-05-02 07:45Magongo Hills7
2021-05-08 08:18Engikaret Lark Plains--Acacia Scrub to South1
2021-04-19 07:36Amboseli western access (Namanga to Meshanani Gate)4
2021-05-08 11:42Masinga Dam12
2021-05-09 10:45Makima road, north of Mwea2
2021-05-08 08:02Arusha NP3
2021-05-08 16:09Amboseli NP1
2021-05-10 12:54Amboseli NP--Ol Tukai Lodge10
2021-05-08 15:19Kimana (general)15
2021-05-08 16:40Cleveland Dam/Haka Game Park2
2021-04-29 05:28Pilanesberg NP (please be more specific)4
2021-04-24 05:42Pilanesberg NP--Pilanesberg Center4
2021-04-26 07:52Pilanesberg NP--Manyane2
2021-05-08 09:23Rockwall Dam2
2021-05-15 11:00Tsavo West NP--southern section8
2021-04-19 11:00Kilombero Nature Reserve--Ndundulu Forest3
2021-05-11 14:21Sagala Lodge/Ndara Ranch3
2021-05-08 07:14Tsavo East NP--southern section3
2021-04-18 09:55Kloofendal Municipal Nature Reserve5
2021-05-08 09:54Aberfoyle Lodge3
2021-05-08 18:21Katiyo Tea Estate8
2021-05-08 06:30Shimba Hills NR6
2021-05-08 06:07Arabuko-Sokoke Forest1
2021-05-08 16:42Tiwi Beach--Kongo River Estuary
2021-05-08 12:42Arabuko-Sokoke Forest--Swamp2
2021-05-08 05:47Mida Creek1
2021-05-08 09:43Bamburi/Mombasa North Beach1
2021-05-08 09:47Lake Chem Chem1
2021-04-30 08:37Kruger NP--S39 (H1-4 to Timbavati)1
2021-04-25 06:51Kruger NP--Phabeni to Skukuza2
2021-05-08 06:00Macaneta-- Wetland, dune forests and coast2
2021-05-07 14:43Mkhuze GR--Kumasinga Hide1
2021-04-29 06:00Phinda GR